Saturday, August 18, 2012

Getting There

If you know me personally, you know that I have back problems.  And if you already know this, then you can just skip this overly, drawn out post.  If you don't know me, let me give you the low-down.

It's such a shame to develop problems like this when you're so young because you can only imagine how it's going to become in time. 

Me on the left.  The girl on the right was my flyer.
When I was in high school, I was very active on the cheer team.  I not only competed with the team (which went to nationals twice when I was on the team) but competed individually or with small groups at competitions.  I would compete in areas such as tumbling, jumps, and stunting.  Not to toot my own horn, but I was a fairly decent athlete.  Long story short, just into my senior year I took a nasty tumble and fractured my back.  At first we thought I just pulled something and I continued to cheer even through the pain.  Fast forward about 3 months when I'm still having pain and the doctor reexamines my x-ray to find out that "Ooops, we missed this fracture".  /sigh.

The fracture wasn't bad enough to cause surgery or anything like that, but it did cause enough obstacles to make my life a pain in the arse.  I did everything from physical therapy, pain injections, muscle relaxers, you name it.  There would be periods of time when I wouldn't be in any pain at all.  Heck I would be able to go two months and not even flinch.  On the other hand, there would be long periods of time when I had to fight my way out of bed every day.

The problem isn't the bone which has long healed by now, but rather how imbalanced my muscles and strength became after that point.  My body literally couldn't support itself and it was a non-ending circle of being in pain because I'm weak but not being able to work out and become strong because I was in pain.

I was taking it day by day and resting my back when it called out to me.  At the end of March, something happened that landed me right back into the doctor's office.  My husband was in Grafenwoher for pre-deployment training and I was managing life on my own.  One night, I was stepping out of the shower when I realized I needed to grab a new body wash from the hall closet.  I bent down to grab it, and my back literally froze up on me.  To move a millimeter was excruciating pain.  I ended up sprawled out on the floor, naked, crying in pain. I was on that floor for 20 minutes before I was able to--millimeter by millimeter-- roll onto my hands and knees and pull myself semi-upright.

So long story short, my doctor plopped me back into physical therapy in April.  Now that I'm doing physical therapy here, I realize how much of a joke my previous bout in PT was.  The first time around it was only 6 visits, once a week and half of the visit included basically getting a massage.  I walked out hardly stronger than before (if at all) and with only a select few exercises to continue with on my own.  I have now been doing PT weekly since April and have gone from the VERY basic of contracting my pelvic floor muscles to the advanced classes which my husband swears he probably couldn't even do.   (I honestly don't even know how I walk  hobble out of there.)

I still have back pain.  Heck, even right now, I'm stretching and readjusting as my back in whimpering from sitting for too long while writing this post.  I still can't sit or stand for more than a few minutes before I start to cramp up.  But, I'm getting stronger and I feel more confident that I'll be able to support myself in ways that will keep the pain somewhat at bay.

So the entire point of this post wasn't so that you feel pity for me or that you understand me, but rather so I can brag about how far I've come.  I am really proud of how strong I feel (even if I can't deadlift 205 pounds like my dear friend, Alicia).  The fact that I can do 4 minute Tabatha (meaning 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest) planks (with proper form) and still be okay is amazing to me.  

Moving up in the world!

Sorry to bore you with the details of my world, but the hubby and I are starting a fitness/diet plan tomorrow and I have fitness on the brain.  Wish us luck!

1 comment:

  1. Whatever man, you went from one deadlift weight and DOUBLED it! I wish I could do that. :( You're always super wife to us! Keep up all the hard work Ashley!


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